In this update:
Senate Communications and Technology Committee to hold public hearing on data breach
Many questions have yet to be answered in a public forum on the latest data breach with the third-party entity contracted by the Pennsylvania Department of Health to conduct contact tracing for adults AND children in this Commonwealth.
This third-party vendor, based in Georgia, was awarded a $22 million contract to conduct contact tracing through the end of July 2021.
Last week, we found out that at least 72,000 Pennsylvanians may have had their personal information compromised, including exposure status and sexual orientation.
The Senate Communications and Technology Committee, which I chair, will hold a public hearing with the Department of Health’s Acting Secretary, Alison Beam, along with her Deputy Secretary, to get to the bottom of this issue.
Bill banning vaccine passports at state and local levels introduced
Earlier this week, legislation I authored with Senator Judy Ward and Michele Brooks was introduced and referred to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee that bans the state as well as any local taxing authority (municipalities, counties, school districts) from mandating vaccine passports.
In New York, the state spent over $2 million developing a smartphone app that requires residents to show proof of vaccination.
In our bill, we note that all the COVID-19 vaccines being administered in the United States have been approved under Emergency Use Authorization. Under federal law, an individual must be given the option to accept or refuse administration of the vaccine.
This bill does not impact any private sector entity as we trust businesses to make the best decision for their employees and customers. However, a one-size-fits-all approach imposed by government at any level is not the right way to address this situation.
The Acting Secretary of the Department of Health has indicated the administration has no plans to impose vaccine passports, either. This bill will ensure the governor cannot change his mind.
You can read more about our bill here.
For more information, feel free to listen to my latest podcast episode on the issue here.
Give Local York today
Today is all about Give Local York! This 24-hour online day of giving supports a wide variety of non-profit organizations throughout York County that greatly enrich our community.
You can learn more about the participating nonprofits and how your donation will make an impact in our community here.
What’s at stake on May 18
This primary election, voters have the opportunity to decide two proposed amendments to the Pennsylvania Constitution that would improve the way the state responds to future emergencies.
I spoke at length about why this is important during a Senate debate on the proposed constitutional amendments. You can watch that video below.
The Wolf Administration has been widely criticized for wording the emergency response questions in a way that is deeply confusing and prejudicial. It’s important that voters understand what the proposed amendments would accomplish.
REAL ID deadline moves to May 3, 2023
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has pushed back the deadline to obtain a REAL ID from October 2021 to May 3, 2023, due to pandemic-related delays.
Pennsylvanians will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, photo ID card, or another form of federally acceptable identification to board a domestic commercial flight or enter a federal building or military installation that requires ID.
REAL IDs are now available to Pennsylvanians who want them. You can find applications and more here.
Have an opinion on automated vehicles? Weigh in here
Pennsylvanians can take a survey seeking their understanding and opinions of Highly Automated Vehicles and their comfort sharing the road with them.
The survey comes from the Highly Automated Vehicles Advisory Committee. The panel was established by the General Assembly in 2018 to advise and consult PennDOT on developing technical guidance, evaluating best practices, and reviewing laws, regulations and policies related to these vehicles.
The survey doesn’t ask your name and takes less than 10 minutes to complete.
Thank you, Nurses!
Even before the pandemic hit, nurses played a vital role in the delivery of health care. Over the last year, their contributions reached heroic proportions.
Nurses exposed themselves to a deadly virus on a daily basis, putting their health at risk to save the lives of others and keep our healthcare facilities running.
National Nurses Week goes through May 12, which was the birthday of Florence Nightingale, considered the founder of modern nursing. Please join me in recognizing the lifesaving, comforting roles nurses play in our healthcare system.
Animal Protection Caucus tours Humane Society of Harrisburg
This week, as co-chair of the bicameral and bipartisan Animal Protection Caucus, members of the caucus toured the Humane Society of Harrisburg to get a firsthand look at how this shelter assists more than 10,000 animals spanning a three-county region.
The Animal Protection Caucus is one of several caucuses I chair as a legislator. In addition to my duties as the Chair of the Senate Communications and Technology Committee, as well as serving on several other committees, I chair the following: Manufacturing Caucus, YMCA Caucus, Broadband Caucus, Cystic Fibrosis Caucus and the Animal Protection Caucus.
These groups help form coalitions to advance important legislation as well as raise awareness of important matters.
Will Mt. Rose be completed when PennDOT said it will on May 11?
Tuesday, May 11 is when PennDOT said the Mt. Rose Interchange at Exit 18 on Interstate 83 would be completed. Next week, I plan to unveil a proposal that will ensure the bidding process evaluates whether entities have a proven track record of increasing costs and extending deadlines to ensure these companies are unlikely to receive bid awards in the future. I am calling it the “Never Again Act.” I will have more information for you in my email update next week.
Local jobs from PA CareerLink
PA CareerLink shared with me their latest list of local job openings, which you can view below. You can also find job postings shared with the York County Economic Alliance here.
Upcoming PennDOT projects
PennDOT shared with me their list of upcoming scheduled maintenance projects, which you can view below.
The Senate of Pennsylvania reconvenes for voting on Monday, May 10 at 1 p.m. You can watch session live and review our agenda at SenatorKristin.com/session.
The Senate Communications and Technology Committee will hold its second public hearing on the deployment of 5G wireless technology on Monday, May 10 at 10:30 a.m. You can learn more here. I will livestream the public hearing from my Facebook Page. You can also watch live here.
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